How To Receive Feedback As a Software Engineer

Dec 18, 2021ยท

3 min read

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If you work as a software engineer (or want to work as a software engineer), receiving feedback will be part of your job.

Receiving feedback from more experienced engineers is a wise approach to growing professionally and personally.

Software engineers receive feedback in code reviews, performance reviews and probably during other occasions (such as during pair-programming sessions).

Feedback can be classified as positive or constructive feedback.

This article will discuss the meaning of these types of feedback and the most elegant way to receive them.

Positive feedback

Positive feedback tells you about your fantastic actions, and it's designed to encourage you to keep doing what you're already doing.

Positive feedback is that type of feedback that makes you smile as soon as you hear it. It makes you feel great, accomplished and proud of yourself.

Constructive feedback

Constructive feedback may unintentionally touch your feelings, inadvertently impacting your emotions depending on how the person delivers the input.

Constructive feedback can be perceived as a personal attack, but it's designed to make you realize aspects of your performance that need improvement.

Depending on your self-awareness, this type of feedback can disappoint you.

So, how can you receive feedback?

1. Separate yourself from your job

Separating yourself from your job helps with receiving and absorbing feedback.

Engineers often need to code hours outside work to become more valuable. There is this belief that you must code and have code-related hobbies outside of work. Your identity should be an all-around code.

You are more than your job and career. Avoid bringing your whole self to work.

Assuming the person giving you feedback does so respectfully, and with good intentions, the feedback you receive at work is not about you. It is about the work you do and the code you write.

2. Avoid taking feedback personally

Software engineering is a team effort. Someone who refuses to improve can make the job challenging to carry out.

The goal of a software engineer is to solve problems and deliver high-quality products. Everyone in your team must collaborate to achieve this goal.

When you avoid taking feedback personally, you allow yourself to absorb and embrace input more efficiently. It becomes effortless for you to act on your feedback to improve.

3. Ask for more help

The person who gives you feedback most likely wants to help you. Ask them what you can do from a practical standpoint to improve.

Ask them to have a session with them to explain the areas of improvement or some resources to help you get better.

On top of this, every time you feel you have addressed an area that needs to improve, ask again for more help and feedback.

4. Be thankful for the feedback

Express your appreciation. Senior engineers give us feedback because they want you to grow.

Conclusion

This article is about receiving feedback as a software engineer in a way that makes you grow.

I hope you've found this helpful.

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Until next time!

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